Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trying to Motivate Sixth Grade

Sixth grade gets some SERIOUS "senior-itis" by this time of the year. They're really too cool for school and getting them excited (particularly when you see them at the very end of the day like I do) is feels nearly impossible.  
I'd decided at the end of last year to do some silk screen printing with my sixth graders to make class t-shirts, and then so much came up that we're just now getting to it at the last two weeks of school (nothing like cutting it close). Due to traveling to another school at the end of the day, I only have two sections of sixth graders this year.  I ordered two ready-made silk screens through Nasco, along with a squeegee and four colors of fabric printing ink.  The photo emulsion I already had at home, mixed and ready to go in my refrigerator (doesn't everyone???).
Technology is not my forte, and when I tried getting them to use their chromebooks to make t-shirt designs on their own time, I didn't have much luck.  I sent out a cry for help to one of our tech people, and she came to the rescue by helping me "team teach" the computer/tech part (ie, she taught it, I wandered the room helping/kind of struggling along with my students).  She also set up a voting link through Schoology (that I might want to tweak before next time, because it seemed like they only voted along friend lines. . . ) but anyway, all that part is done, votes were tallied (I made some executive decisions when ties were discovered). 
Today will be our first day/class printing.  Students were expected to bring their own t-shirts from home, and to watch the videos I dropped into Schoology yesterday BEFORE they come to art.  Here's the test print video I made for them:

I am truly excited to share the joy of silk screen printing with my classes, and I hope they like it too.

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